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If you set up a portal for adding attributes, a portal with only 8 rows and no scrolling allowed would limit the related records to eight.
You could also limit your design so that only a script can be used to create a related record. The script can count related records and only create a new one if the limit has not been reached. A custom menu could replace the new record menu option with such a script to name just one such way to implement a script controlled approach.
Thank you. I'm going to try both, but have a feeling the portal will be easier for users to understand.
The portal method is extremely obvious and simple. But it's limited and you may want to enter more data into those related records than is convenient in a portal--though not everyone realizes that portals do not have to look and act like tables.
The scripted method would need to use a custom dialog or other method to tell users why they can't add another related record. Buttons clicked to add more related records can also change appearance to look "disabled" to further provide feedback to the user.